StudentP2020
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I got a conditional offer at Harris Westminster, and I dont know if i should go. I mean i've read so many other forums onthis school and so far all i've been seeing is conflicting opinions. So can someone please, preferably someone whos going to the school currently, inform me on the school and if its worth it.
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becausethenight
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I'm not at Harris, but I'm at Westminster, so I've spent time there and know some Harris pupils really well.
Imo, Harris has a great, very friendly atmosphere with lots of societies and lovely pupils. The teachers are quite strict and it's somewhat exam focused, but the academic standard is very impressive and you won't really get that anywhere else in the state sector (sadly!)
If you want an academic challenge and good oxbridge prep, do go to Harris.
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maya.js0
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I've just finished my first year at Harris and you definitely have to be a certain type of person to enjoy it and get the most out of it. They expect you to be engaged and motivated literally all the time, there's exams every six weeks, societies, etc. I guess if you like to keep busy and dedicate a lot of time to academics it could be the right fit for you but in my opinion I don't really like it. Personally I'm just trying to get the most out of it (good university links and preparations and free studying at Westminster school), but it's difficult to balance HWSF and a social life. HWSF prides itself on supporting lower class families through bursaries and their application process, but it's funded by and built by elites (and the Headteacher is ignorant in my opinion - getting rid of Black History month and not responding properly to the situation surrounding BLM at the moment). The teachers expect a lot of you, and a lot of people at Harris are the types of people who are naturally smart and therefore didn't have to study much at GCSE (and now don't know how to study a A level), but most people are very neeky lmao and the fact that you're constantly surrounded by super smart people is very demotivating. If I could have chosen to study at a less intense school I definitely would have, but if you're set on going to Oxbridge or UCL or something, you could just take advantage of the good things HWSF provides and try to ignore the social aspect of it. It really just depends on the type of person you are and your aspirations.Hope this helped
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PeppaPig29
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(Original post by StudentP2020)
I got a conditional offer at Harris Westminster, and I dont know if i should go. I mean i've read so many other forums onthis school and so far all i've been seeing is conflicting opinions. So can someone please, preferably someone whos going to the school currently, inform me on the school and if its worth it.
Hi! I'm currently a Y12 student at HWSF and if I'm honest, I didn't want to go here due to what I read on TSR last year but thankfully I did. I do agree that HWSF is a lot of work and you need to know whether that is the right environment for yourself. For me - I love it, the fact that we are encouraged to constantly question and go outside of our curriculum and that there is a big focus on learning because you are interested instead of for the exam. Being surrounded by incredibly smart people does motivate me further but when I do get a sense of imposter syndrome, I’ve found a support network in my friends and in the school as well. Your social life will decrease from GCSEs (that’s just A-levels for you) but it’s a balance that is somewhat achievable. At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself if you think you will thrive in such an environment or not. If you are still unsure like I was, I would say to go for it, but that's my opinion anyway.
Hope that helps!
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kjasdghkdb
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(Original post by PeppaPig29)
Hi! I'm currently a Y12 student at HWSF and if I'm honest, I didn't want to go here due to what I read on TSR last year but thankfully I did. I do agree that HWSF is a lot of work and you need to know whether that is the right environment for yourself. For me - I love it, the fact that we are encouraged to constantly question and go outside of our curriculum and that there is a big focus on learning because you are interested instead of for the exam. Being surrounded by incredibly smart people does motivate me further but when I do get a sense of imposter syndrome, I’ve found a support network in my friends and in the school as well. Your social life will decrease from GCSEs (that’s just A-levels for you) but it’s a balance that is somewhat achievable. At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself if you think you will thrive in such an environment or not. If you are still unsure like I was, I would say to go for it, but that's my opinion anyway.
Hope that helps!
Hi, I am in year 11 now and I am applying to Harris Westminster school, I chose Biology, and chemistry to be my entrance exam. Can you tell me which type of questions will be there and what GCSE grades do I need to get in your opinion to guarantee a place in this school please. thank you very much
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PeppaPig29
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(Original post by kjasdghkdb)
Hi, I am in year 11 now and I am applying to Harris Westminster school, I chose Biology, and chemistry to be my entrance exam. Can you tell me which type of questions will be there and what GCSE grades do I need to get in your opinion to guarantee a place in this school please. thank you very much
Hi! Sorry for replying so late but UCAS is quite time consuming!

In terms of entrance exams, I didn't do Biology or Chemistry but what is true for all of them is that they won't ask you any trick questions or stuff that's not in the GCSE syllabus. They will, however, test you on the hardest parts of your syllabus (basically grade 7-9 questions only) so definitely practise those. Do the practice paper on the website and ask your teacher to correct it then revise whatever you've got wrong. If there is anything on your syllabus that your teacher didn't teach you because 'it will never come up' or 'you don't need to know that,' I would revise it because that's the type of stuff they like to test you on.

You shouldn't stress too much, yes it's important to do well but you really shouldn't be spending too much time preparing for them ( I would say about 3 days of 3 hours studying during Christmas Holdidays is enough) because you also have mocks and other things to prepare for as well. A good trick is to revise for your entance exams by revising for your mocks so you're killing two birds with one stone.

In terms of grades, as long as you're on track to get at least 6 7s or more, you're absolutely fine. If it's a bit less than that then that's also fine, I'm sure the school is definitely taking into account the effect of COVID etc.

I hope that was useful? Let me know if you have any other questions
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